I was all set to attend the Balangay launching last June 27. Unfortunately, I encountered some sort of back problems and needed to visit my doctor on that same day. But since my daughter was very much keen on seeing the boat unloaded to the sea, I just told them to go ahead without me. So basically, the accounts I'm going to discuss here is not from my experience but from my representatives. I was expecting the event to be very simple and not so extravagant. But Lo and behold, the place was jampack with journalist. The sponsors even hired PR firm to organize the event. Lots of prominent personalities was also present. Environment Sec. Lito Atienza was there, Oscar Lopez (an avid adventurer himself), former Senator Nina RAsul and former DILG Rafael ALunan among others. The boat was also christened by a priest before being set unto the Manila bay. She was given the name "Diwata nang Lahi" (goddess of Race). Of course a boat will not run without a crew. Present are the Philippine Everest Team, they were given the task to complete this great feat. Leading the Team is former DOTC Usec. Art Valdez.
It took the builders (Badjaos from Mindanao) a while to take the boat to sea. They used the old way of carrying a boat, much like how the egyptians carried the building blocks of the pyramid. I also forgot to mention on my previous post that the boat was replicated very much from the ancient one. Everything was made of wood and no metal was used, even the nails.
Gianne with Leo Oracion
Gianne and her paper Balangay.